Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Make a Difference Day

Here are some photos from Piedmont Quilters' Guild's Make a Difference Day. In our room, we made quilts for Project Linus. Most people were making the bento box pattern, but a few made the traditional big square Linus quilts.

This is Linda who really revolutionized the entire process by discovering a strip piecing technique online that really sped up the construction process. I still like the scrappier construction method I started with, but for our purposes last week, the speed method was terrific. Thanks, Linda!

Lucille worked on the red bag of scraps that I provided.

The yellow quilt was a tough design problem because it was harder to find light and dark contrasts.

Susie started on the green bag.

Several people brought tops already constructed, so we had a table for pin basting. Two of the quilters have longarm machines at home and they took many quilts home to machine quilt.

Major string piecing going on here with the big block traditional Linus quilt construction.

When Lucille had to leave, we snagged a quilter from one of the other projects to finish the red quilt. I finished the blue quilt and it went home with one of the machine quilters. I have the binding, so I should be able to get a photo of it before it goes back to the guild for donation.

The Girl Scout Learning Center was a spectacular place to work: tons of great task lighting as well as lovely big windows, nice tables, comfy chairs, and, of course, the gorgeous setting in the woods. Among our volunteers were several Girl Scouts, their moms, and siblings. Thanks to the Carolina Peaks to Piedmont Council for the use of the hall.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Feels Like Fall"

I know. It's been a week. I do have pictures uploaded for a big post on the Girl Scout project, but it will just have to wait for the weekend. The pumpkin photo was taken at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market several weeks ago. Sunday is the Pottery Festival there. Tomorrow is Make a Difference Day and then hopefully, things will calm down a little. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Working with the Girl Scouts

USPS Commemorative stamp of Juliette Low issued October 29, 1948

As I posted earlier, I've been volunteering with the Girl Scouts and last Tuesday was the third session. I've been taking some photos of the progress the girls are making on their quilt. They are working on the journey called "In the Pink" about breast cancer awareness. We made fused pink ribbon blocks and then they pieced pink ribbon blocks. The center of the quilt is a portrait of Juliette Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, who was a victim of breast cancer. Gerry, Mary Jo, and Anne from Piedmont Quilters assisted us as did Andrea and Charlotte from the Girl Scout organization.

One of the scouts pressing her block.

Gerry and Andrea finished piecing a block for one of the scouts who was absent on the second night.

Anne helping one of the scouts chain piecing her pink ribbon block.

Mary Jo helps one of the scouts with her pressing.

Gerry gives one of the scouts some pointers on chain piecing.

Andrea putting the unfinished blocks in bags for the next time.

Mary Jo working on squaring up the border blocks.

Gerry working on the border blocks.

Everyone signed the back which was composed of several donated breast cancer awareness fabrics.

The Girl Scouts working on the portrait.

One of our scouts had some good art class experience and mixed colors for the portrait.

Nearly finished with the portrait.

Gerry piecing the border blocks.

Mary Jo piecing border blocks.

Charlotte was kind enough to take this photo of most of the gang.

Mary Jo, Gerry and I are going to the girls scout meeting in November to show them sandwiching and basting of the quilt. It will hang at the Peaks to Piedmont administrative offices at Magnolia Manor for a time, then hopefully move around to women's hospitals. I had a wonderful time working with these girls and their leaders and look forward to doing more teaching with the scouts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A little vent and preparing for Make a Difference Day

Well, our Thursday night Piedmont Quilters Guild meeting was supposed to be spent preparing for Make a Difference Day (MADD), but because so many other projects have been loaded into this day, nothing really got accomplished. The MADD organizers know what they are doing. They tell you to work on one project so that you can get it finished. I mentioned this several times and was ignored. Well, I tried. Consequently, I spent all of yesterday and half of today doing the preparation work. I have made a sample block for each of the colors, I've cut the backing fabric and a 22 inch square for each of the bias bindings we will need. Most of the fabric is in two and a half inch strips already.

Here's the orange block. The multicolored flower fabric is a little much, but I wanted to use the donated fabrics.

Here's the yellow one. With larger scale designs, you have to fussy cut the fabric or it just looks like nothing. That's what I did with the Care Bears fabric.

I fussy cut the fish fabric and the large scale design with the nice light background actually worked pretty well.

I love the red block. The frog fabric worked great.

The flower fabric in the green block worked well because I kept the direction going the same way.

The pink blocks are all sewn together and ready to be sandwiched and quilted. You can see the whole top in this post. I did demonstrate making bias binding at the guild meeting for a small group of people, so that's also ready to go.

Everything is in a bag and ready to travel to the Girl Scout Learning Center on October 24th. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival: A sad October tale

Welcome to my post for the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I had planned to share some detail photographs of one of my favorite quilts called "Improvizo! or Jimmy's Quilt". It's got lots of hand embroidery and embellishment and was juried into Paducah and Houston and appeared in the Quilt Art Calender. I unrolled the quilt and put it on my work table to photograph.

I took the first few photos of Arlechino's body.

Lots of the fabrics and the embroidery threads were hand dyed.

Then I took a good look at the white areas and made a terrible discovery: the dye has migrated and stained the white areas of the figure while the quilt has been rolled up.

It's even in the blue background.

I was so worried about sun damage that I've always kept it rolled up. Anybody out there who hand dyes have any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Workshop for Make a Difference Day

Here's a finished bento box baby quilt top. Tomorrow night at the Piedmont Quilters Guild is our preparation workshop for Make A Difference Day. Making the quilts with nine blocks means that we don't have to bother with borders. They will be 36 inches square which is a good size for a baby quilt. I'm going to demonstrate making bias binding as well as composing the blocks. I have three blue blocks that I'll be working with tomorrow night. Hopefully, we will have another top by the end of the evening. I have really missed my design wall doing these blocks.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"In the Pink": Quilting with the Girl Scouts

Image from Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Thanks to some great online resources, I have worked up three samples and gathered the materials for the first of my sessions with the Girl Scouts this week. They are working on a "journey" (badge from the old days) called "In the Pink" in which they educate themselves about the causes, detection, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer. They will all have gone to an information session before I see them where they will learn (among lots of other things) that the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, died of breast cancer in 1927. She is the inspiration for the quilt we are going to create.

I'm planning on showing them Susie Shie's work to spur their creativity. I'm hoping we can do a drawing of Juliette Low as the center piece, paint it, and then the girls can write some of the things they found meaningful in the background of this drawing. We will use the pink ribbon blocks to border the drawing.

This is the first ribbon block. I used the Wikipedia template for the ribbon. The ribbon is three sections fused to the block with Wonderunder.

This is a pieced block that just uses blocks and half-square triangles. Designed by Lesley Brankin, it is found at the My Quilt Patch site. I'm planning to show the girls chain piecing to put it together.

This paper pieced or foundation block from the site may be too tough so I'm going to wait to see what kind of sewing skills the girls have before I bring this one out.

October is turning out to be my month of service. Besides the three sessions with the Girl Scouts, I'm also working on Make a Difference Day with the Piedmont Quilt Guild.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival Round Two

Amy, the Park City Girl is holding another blogger's quilt festival and I am definitely participating again. The spring festival was incredible. More than 500 quilting bloggers from all over the world participated. Not only did it bring lots of new people to my blog, I was also able to find lots of wonderful blogs that were new to me. Click here to check out the spring festival. I was number 101, but here's a link to my festival post.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ushering in October

My dear friend Diane and her husband Jamey sent us these marvelous flowers as a "break-a-leg"* for Jim's opening night on Wednesday. What a lovely way to usher in October. I promise a real post this weekend. It's been blazingly busy here for both us this week. Are there signs of fall in your part of the world?

* In the theatre, it's bad luck to say "good luck" so you wish each other "break a leg". (There's a great song from The Producers about it.)